BOOM! STUDIOS: Six-Gun Gorilla #1
Written by Nate Derr
When you decide to make a comic about a gun-toting gorilla, you can go about it one of two ways: you can either go all-in on the absurdity and have something fun and goofy, or play it straight and make the gorilla an absolute badass, as well as explore some more serious ideas. With their new series Six Gun Gorilla, Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely have thankfully opted for the second route, kicking off what promises to be a thrilling and intriguing series.
Reading the first issue of Six-Gun Gorilla is like unfolding a letter; with every few pages the story’s dystopian world is further revealed, confounding expectations again and again. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that the titular gorilla doesn’t appear very much in issue #1. When he does make his appearance, though, it’s quickly made clear that he’s not here for laughs, and the incongruence of a talking gorilla with revolvers only adds to the story’s mystery. Instead, the story focuses on Blue-3425, a former librarian who has volunteered to die in a televised colonial war, and who quickly finds himself involved in events way over his head. Both Blue’s past and the workings of his society aren’t fully explained just yet, giving readers freedom to speculate on how things got to this point.
While the big draw here is definitely the premise and setting, the writing and art are both pretty solid. The dialogue flows well and builds some great sympathy for Blue, and the art does a good job of capturing both the impressive landscapes of the war zone and the sudden bursts of violence. It’s not exactly high-brow stuff, but it seems like the series will have enough light social commentary to keep it from feeling like a cheap shoot-em-up.
As far as first issues go, Six-Gun Gorilla does everything right: it gives readers an enticing taste of its world and characters, introduces multiple plot threads, and has enough substance to be a satisfying read in its own right, and not just an introduction. Pick this one up and keep an eye out for the next issue.